“We Can Do It!”…

By Amber Six



…Rosie the Riveter appealed to American women in the forties a call to find someone inside of them they just didn’t know was there: a strong, able working woman. It has been almost 80 years since this powerful advertisement surfaced and you wonder if in that time “Can we? Can we actually do it?” Women today are still fighting for their rights to be treated equally with men, to have the same political, legal, social, economic and employment opportunities without the favoring of one sex over another. Like other dominating ideals of the Zeitgeist, gender equality affects fashion in so many ways. One way this topic is showing up in fashion is with the rise in unisex clothing and gender-neutral clothing. This increase has been correlated with rises in the feminist voice, LGBT community and gender equality movements. Another way this is impacting fashion is the pantsuit. Gone are the days when women were expected to wear dresses or skirts to express and stay in touch with their femininity, especially in the workforce.  Women now have the option to wear pants just as men, as seen by presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. So it’s time to put your “big girl pants on” ladies, the pantsuit is here to stay.


As genders continue to be more equal, and women are freer to ease up on appearance, men have to worry about theirs…oh how the tables have turned. This does raise a question, if women can wear pants, can men wear dresses and skirts? Isn’t this equally what gender equality is? Are women getting to “ease up” or are men being limited? Just think about it.

picture4Now as this gender equality battle continues we as a society are turning our attention to fighting something else: staying healthy and fighting aging. In this
day and age we are seeing a more holistic approach to health and wellness, prioritizing staying healthy over just slimming down. There has been a rise in different diets like clean eating, and also in different exercise outlets like yoga and CrossFit. The term and trend
: “athleisure” came as a direct correlation to these ideals. It is now acceptable to wear your workout gear—leggings and workout shoes all day even if you hpicture5aven’t worked out (even if you don’t plan on working out). Now about the age-old battle: youthfulness. Youthfulness has been a dominating ideal manifesting itself even in the place of children’s stories like Snow White. Humans are obsessed with staying young and radiant. Plastic surgery has made this fantasy a reality not just for women but men too. There have even been tests for an anti-aging drug that scientists believe will actually “stop people from growing old” who will live well into their 110s and 120s. Say wut?!

So what exactly does this mean for you?  Nothing, yet everything. It doesn’t mean you have to follow these trends or participate in them but the study of these ideals invites us to appreciate the clothes we wear for the stories they hold.


Works Cited


-Knapton, Sarah. (2015, November) The Telegraph: World’s first anti-ageing drug

could see humans live to 120. Retrieved from http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/2016/03/12/worlds-first-anti-ageing-drug-could-see-humans-live-to-120/

-Farra, Emily. (2016, March). Vogue: 6 Workout Looks That Will Take You From

Barre Class to Boardroom. Retrieved from http://www.vogue.com/13418808/gym-clothes-wear-to-work-athleisure-karlie-kloss/

-Marlow, Rachel. (2016, January). Vogue: The 5 Golden Rules of Athleisure: Is it

Really Acceptable to Wear Yoga Pants All Day Long. Retrieved from http://www.vogue.com/13384955/rules-for-wearing-workoutwear/


Satenstine, Liana. (2016, January). Vogue: How to pull off that sexy tomboy look

you’ve heard about so much. Retrieved from http://www.vogue.com/13384476/sexy-tomboy-shopping-trend/


Testino, Mario. (2016, March). Vogue: Time Tested. Retrieved from



Tomboy Femme. (2016, April). Tumblr. Retrieved from




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